Readers questions about water restrictions answered

August 11, 1999

Several of our readers asked questions about Maryland's water restrictions on the Herald-Mail drought line. Here's what we've been able to find out.

"I'd like to get an interpretation on topping private pools. If you can't put enough water in for the pump to work, you sacrifice 7,000 gallons of water in an 18-foot pool. It's easier to put, say, 20 to 30 gallons in so the pump can run so the water doesn't get rancid or get algae."

You cannot top off residential pools. You may file an application for a variance if you believe you will suffer extraordinary hardship. File with your water supplier. In Hagerstown, call 301-739-8577. In Washington County, call 301-791-3083.

"I would like to know if there's a shortage on water and it's being controlled, why is the Washington Redskins training camp running sprinklers all the time. You see it every day on the news.'


There is an exception for athletic fields. Owners or operators of athletic fields must reduce water consumption by 50 percent. Watering must be limited after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m.

"Gardens may only be sprinkled with watering cans or a hand-held hose. Does that mean we can water our flower pots in front of our church?"


"I was wondering if you were allowed to water your flower gardens? It doesn't specify flower or vegetable garden."

Yes, you can water your flowers with a watering can or hand-held hose.


"I don't think that we should be saying on the TV about storms, like a hurricane, because although they'll bring a lot of rain, they'll have devastating effects. I think we do need a couple of days of regular, good rain without the flooding effect. Maybe this teaches us to start saving water. You would not believe how much water a person wastes in general."

"During this period of severe drought, there should be no car washing, no watering of golf courses, no watering of athletic fields and absolutely no reflooding of the ice rink and freezing it for skating purposes. The drought is severe. And if it does soon not subside, we'll all have our eyes widely opened. The governor's orders don't go far enough."

"The commercial car washes are still operating, so I assume the drought is not as bad as we were led to believe."

Maryland has set up a special Web site for more information. It is:

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